The Case Against On-staff IAs
A strong case is put forward by Hana Schank that being an outsider can give you a better perspective. While I do agree that its hard to maintain complete objectivity working inside an organisation, the familiarity also brings some benefits. I have seen many cases of consultants making poorly thought through recommendations because they didn’t have a firm grasp of all the issues.
So, how do we get the best of both worlds? A lot of it boils down to the value an organisation places on customercentricity. If its regarded as being important, employing all the necessary tools and tricks to see the world from the users perspective will be routine and welcomed. If the interest in UX is just lip service (which is often the case), then all the subtle deterrents will be drip fed into the project, until all usercentricity is slowly asphyxiated. The only weapons against this are passion and education. You need to win over each stakeholder one at a time. And that is something only an ‘innie’ can do.
5 Design Decision Styles. What's Yours? http://www.uie.com/articles/five_design_decision_styles/
Jared Spool outlines 5 approaches to UX. A horrifyingly accurate summary in my experience.